Committee of Seventy Logo
English Arabic Chinese (Simplified) French Spanish Vietnamese

Amanda McIllmurray


Campaign website

What is one life experience you have that voters should know about?

In middle school, my family was evicted because our landlord hiked up our rent during early Fishtown gentrification. We bounced around a lot and it put us in chaos. Years later, my parents finally were able to buy their own home in Frankford – only because my dad became a Teamsters truck driver. It was life changing for us and that home is still in my family now. Unfortunately, my dad suffered a brain injury. He hasn’t been able to work since and he lost his union job. Our family home is crumbling because he can’t afford to maintain it. My family’s story is the story of so many of us. My dad is now applying for Councilmember Parker’s Restore, Repair, Renew program and Senator Saval’s Whole Homes to get funds to make his home safe for him, my siblings and my new 4 month old niece. As City Councilmember, I’ll fight to make sure every Philadelphian can buy a home and keep that home in their family for generations. Philadelphians deserve the best and we can revitalize and improve our neighborhoods AND prevent gentrification and displacement. I want young people like myself and older Philadelphians who have built this city to be able to stay here.

What would be your top three policy priorities in office?

I’m running for City Council At-Large to win good jobs, affordable housing and to keep our communities safe so we can all take care of our families. Housing in Philly costs too much. I’ll work to protect all renters and homeowners so our families can thrive. We need more permanently AFFORDABLE housing. Every person deserves the opportunity to have just ONE job — a family sustaining job. I’ll work to prevent bosses from misclassifying workers, protect workers from retaliation, wage theft, and workplace discrimination. I’ll also fight to make sure every project in our city is built, maintained and staffed with unionized workers. I’ll work to fully fund our libraries, parks and recs. We'll them open nights and weekends. Because it’ll bring our kids joy and keep our kids safe. Reinvesting in public services and public places will not only make our neighborhoods safer and more beautiful, but will also fuel our local economy. The safest neighborhoods are the ones with the most resources — well paying jobs, stable homes and funded public services. One of the best things we can do to reduce violence is to make sure people can afford to take care of their families.

What sets you apart from other candidates?

I was born and raised in Philly, went to Philly public schools and am the daughter of union members. I co-founded Reclaim Philadelphia and ran the campaigns of Elizabeth Fiedler and Nikil Saval to put political power back into the hands of working people. I’m running for City Council At Large to continue my organizing work to make Philadelphia a city where all people can thrive.

I will always work to put political power into the hands of working people. I grew up in the labor movement and will always fight for the dignity of workers across industries. I’d be the first openly queer member of City Council ever and the youngest member of Council. I’m an organizer, a strategist and a movement builder — and that doesn’t only shape how I campaign but how I’ll govern too.

I have the largest, most organized and enthusiastic base of any candidate in the race. You can see this show up in a myriad of ways: as of February 2023, over 900 individual people have contributed to my campaign — more than any other candidate in the race. In a race with multiple open seats and a field approaching 30 candidates, victory is going to come down to organizing and door knocking. I’ll have the most robust and effective field program in the race.

How do you plan to work across ideological lines to achieve shared goals?

As an organizer and a strategist, what I do best is bring together stakeholders around issues, think creatively about solutions, and work to bring those stakeholders into alignment around actionable steps. I’ve worked with elected officials, unions, community and civic groups and have a wide range of strong relationships with the people and institutions that make things work both behind the scenes and out in the streets. 

I have developed a reputation for working with people who aren't always in alignment. When I was managing Nikil Saval's campaign, we very intentionally reached out to urbanists, building trades, leftists, because we know we need all these communities to win, and we felt accountable to all these communities as well. That's how we passed the Whole Homes Repair Funds — by bringing together communities who are often pitted against each other — to make meaningful change for our neighbors.

When I decided to run for Council, I had more than 200 one on ones with community leaders and neighbors across the city because I believe no one person should decide to run for office without having buy in and input from the community. 

As a councilmember, I’ll bring in the community and center the people on the frontlines of each fight and bring in experts to design and implement policy for the best of our neighbors.We need a range of expertise: people with lived experience, professionals who have studied the issues and their solutions, leaders who are humble enough to look to solutions that have worked in other places, and people are bold enough to try creative new things to tackle our biggest challenges.

As a councilmember I would not only bring clarity of my politics and expertise as an organizer and strategist but I would also bring my lived experience and understanding of what everyday working Philadelphians are struggling through. This makes me ready to govern on day 1 of council.

The Committee of Seventy has partnered with the Carter Center to promote the Candidate Principles for Trusted Elections to improve the voting process, encourage honest leadership, and promote civic engagement. Do you support the Candidate Principles?